June bugs are common all over the United States although I never saw one until I moved to Oklahoma. In Philly we had Japanese Beetles which, incidentally, look like fancy June bugs with an iridescent body and green bits. The Japanese beetles on our street possessed an insatiable appetite for my grandmother’s rose bushes.
Japanese beetles. June bugs in drag. June bugs with panache. I liked the Japanese beetles.
In the 20 years I’ve lived in Oklahoma June bugs have always annoyed me on some level. The first summer they were a minor bother, “What the hell keeps hitting the screen door? … Wow. 500 of the clumsiest bugs I’ve ever seen.” The second summer my puppy ran a catch and release program with them in my living room. They do not maneuver any better indoors in case you were wondering. By the third summer he was snacking on them like peanuts. Crunch, crunch. “What the hell does the dog have? Ew … jeez,” I said the first time while wiping bug parts covered in dog spit off my hands. Imagine a variety of similar June bug interactions for the next 13 years.
My catch, snap, crunch dog has died but now I have a pool. And hundreds of June bugs have flocked to my yard to attempt suicide – by drowning – in my pool. They didn’t do this in June, they waited until July for some reason. My first task every morning and one of my last tasks most evenings is to fish June bugs out of my pool. The little buggers swim and swim and swim but when I get them on the skimmer net a lot of them latch on and refuse to let go. The particularly stubborn ones get essentially waterboarded while I use the net to save the next batch of swimming June bugs.
I obviously can’t just let hundreds of bugs die in my pool yet I resent being forced into the role of June bug savior. Which is twisted, I know.